Mind maps are a great platform for exploring new topics, organizing your web of thoughts into a visually appealing layout, and sharing ideas.
Whether you’d like to group brainstorm about a creative story or define a plan of action for a project, these top three mind mapping web apps are simple to navigate and free to use. Find out which of these tools is the most useful for you.
MindMeister.com is the most well-rounded mind mapping web app with an option to use it for free. As a web app, there are no downloads necessary – you only need to have an internet connection, open your web browser, and sign up.
Free Basic account allows for up to 3 private maps at time
Maps can be saved and imported for future use
Export to a variety of formats, including PDF, JPEG, PNG, or GIF
View editing history to keep track who made edits and when
Create a slideshow
Add icons, comments, links, images
Complex layout, color, and customization options
The toolbar is a bit complicated, given it does support a wide variety of features
The original bubble cannot be moved from the map’s center
Upgraded MindMeister subscriptions range from $5.99 – $14.99 per month.
The simplicity of Bubbl.us is its charm. While its free version doesn’t have fancy attachment or slideshow options, it does feature a colorful palette and extremely customizable placing for thought bubbles. With its intuitive handling and focus on text, Bubbl might be just the distraction-free type of mind mapping you’ve been looking for.
Free version allows 3 maps at a time
Export to JPEG, PNG, or Web Outline
Print from application
Easily select and format multiple bubbles at a time
Drag your bubbles into any odd position you desire
Visually appealing, colorful, and customizable
Simple formatting and navigation
Lacks advanced features (can be unlocked with subscription)
Bubbles can eclipse each other if you’re not careful
Upgrades for Bubbl cost $6.00 per month or $59.00 per year.
SpiderScribe.net can integrate your multimedia way of thinking into a detailed web of images, maps, word documents, and even calendar appointments. Better yet, it makes doing so very easy. Don’t let this web app’s initial gray and squiggly appearance fool you – each stencil can be color coded and the map can be locked into an orderly grid if so desired.
Free version allows up to 3 private maps
Unlimited public maps
Export to JPEG or PNG
Print from application
Easily invite others to work with you
Optional organizing grid
Add text, files, images, maps, or calendars
Limited color customization
Visually could be difficult to follow
Advertisements clog window space
SpiderScribe upgrades range from $5.00 – $25.00 per month.
Watch List: Exobrain
Visually, the Exobrain.co layout is simple, clean, colorful, and appealing. The controls are extremely intuitive, but the toolbar is rather sparse.
When you actually use Exobrian, you can tell this web app is still getting off its feet. And indeed they are. For $3 a month they offer an early adopter rate, promising more features to come. They’ve done such a good job with what they have so far, that securing the discounted subscription might be worth considering.
So, which of the above is going to be your favorite online mind mapping tool henceforth? Have you been using mind maps already? How have they helped you?